Historic droughts inventory of references to legal regulation 1976-2012

Lange, B. and Golomoz, C. (2020). Historic droughts inventory of references to legal regulation 1976-2012. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853184

Historic Droughts was a four year (2014 – 2018), £1.5m project funded by the UK Research Councils, aiming to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of past drought episodes that have affected the United Kingdom (UK), with a view to developing improved tools for managing droughts in future. Drought and water scarcity (DWS) events are significant threats to livelihoods and wellbeing in many countries, including the United Kingdom (UK). Parts of the UK are already water-stressed and are facing a wide range of pressures, including an expanding population and intensifying exploitation of increasingly limited water resources. In addition, many regions may become significantly drier in future due to environmental changes, all of which implies major challenges to water resource management. However, DWS events are not simply natural hazards. There are also a range of socio-economic and regulatory factors that may influence the course of droughts, such as water consumption practices and abstraction licensing regimes. Consequently, if DWS events are to be better managed, there is a need for a more detailed understanding of the links between hydrometeorological and social systems during droughts. With this research gap in mind, the Historic Droughts project aimed to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of drought from a range of different perspectives. Based on an analysis of information from a wide range of sectors (hydrometeorological, environmental, agricultural, regulatory, social and cultural), the project characterised and quantified the history of drought and water scarcity events since the late 19th century. The Historic Droughts project involved eight institutions across the UK: the British Geological Survey the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Cranfield University, the University of Exeter, HR Wallingford, Lancaster University, the Met Office, and the University of Oxford.

Data description (abstract)

This is a collection of extracts from both House of Commons and House of Lords Debates about the legal regulation of water resources in the UK during five key drought episodes, i.e. 1976, 1984, 1995, 2003-6 and 2010-12. The data extracts are coded with reference to core concepts developed during the Historic Droughts Project, i.e. Drivers, Impacts of and Responses to drought, with subsidiary coding of changes in the State of water resource management and Pressures contributing to the development of drought conditions. Where relevant the data is coded with reference to NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) regions in order to indicate with reference to which local or regional area Parliamentarians debate the management of water resources. The data set enables analysis of Parliamentarians’ perceptions of how the regulatory framework in the UK for water resources, and drought more specifically helps to alleviate periodic water shortages, but can also be limited in doing so.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Lange B. University of Oxford http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8164-2715
Golomoz C. University of Oxford https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6465-6680
Sponsors: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Grant reference: NE/L010356/1
Topic classification: Natural environment
Law, crime and legal systems
Keywords: drought, historic drought, drought inventory, drought catalogue, water scarcity, drought impact, drought response, drought management, water resource policy, Water Act, drought order, hosepipe ban, leakage, water authorities, water industry
Project title: Analysis of historic drought and water scarcity in the UK: a systems-based study of drivers, impacts and their interactions
Grant holders: Bettina Lange
Project dates:
30 June 201429 June 2018
Date published: 31 Jul 2018 12:58
Last modified: 27 Nov 2020 14:18

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